What a 'deceitful heart' and 'saving money' have to do with each other

In this post, I will share:

  • Why our "deceitful heart" gets in the way of saving money
  • How I saved $700 in six months with my "Roman tax" technique
  • How you can earn $5 for trying out my approach

Many of you have come through to learn either how to experience God's Breakthrough or to discover your Purpose through your Spiritual Gifts.

If those two topics are still important in your growth in Christ, then how you think about and handle money according to the Gospel is also important to know.

I recognize that many people aren't interested in this topic.  But I have been surveying my readers on what is important to them when it comes to money.

Two of the most common themes have been 1) a desire to learn how to save, and 2) a desire to give more to the Kingdom.

Both go hand in hand with each other, and I am going to start teaching about the first: how to save

In six months, I saved about $700.

And one of the ways I did it was to face the underlying truth of this verse:

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
— Jeremiah 17:9

That probably seems like a strange verse to be teaching on when it comes to money.

But has the following ever happened to you?

You know you want to save.

You know you need to save.

So you put up a target of how much to save.

You write up a budget.

You commit to reducing your debt, saving up for an important purchase, even setting aside money for God's Kingdom and his workers.

But then something comes up!

You forget this promise to yourself, and you end up buying something. Mostly these are small knick knacks or, what seemed at the time, important needs.

A desire bubbles up, and you spend, not save, to fulfill it.

In some future teaching, I describe in more detail how to plumb the depths of those desires to get at the root.

But the point for this teaching is this: our desires are often not awesome for us.

It is the inherent flaw of man and the reason we need Christ! Thank goodness for his grace.

So how do I, Jonah, deal with the fact that I have desires to buy that extra book every once in a while, yet need to save?

I set up a free mobile app which, every time I spend, rounds up and saves in my account the difference between what I paid and a full dollar. 

For example, if I buy something on my credit card for $4.60, it automatically takes an extra $.40 from my bank account and saves it for me.

Since January, without me doing anything after the initial set up, this is what it has set aside in my account.

Automatic savings since January 2017

Automatic savings since January 2017

I chose to put mine in an investment account (at the time I anticipated stocks would rise).  I have a better alternative for most of you (and I may switch over as well) -- to just go into a pure savings account, but with the same effect.

How did I "tax" myself to $700 in six months?

Through a nickel here a penny there.  Each time I was spending something, I was taxed.  I was taxed by the government or "Caesar" -- thus the "Roman tax." 

And I taxed myself to set aside more for "God" (and that is key -- to link the savings to give or to be transformed for God).

Here's an example of my self-imposed savings "tax":

This "nickel and dime" approach may seem like it would take forever to save anything. 

But it does two things that are valuable in your journey.

First, I am aware of the little things I am spending, because I am taxing myself.  

  • I took my family to BBQ (at a restaurant in a developing area of the city I am trying to build relationships with to share the Good News);
  • Swimming lessons (my children cannot swim!  It is a huge worry till they do!)
  • Lunch with someone from church to talk about his Gifts.  
  • Groceries (kinda expensive, but...kids gotta eat!)

Second, although I am taxing myself, those monies go to my savings.

If we rely completely on our heart to get our finances in place, we will encounter frustration.

We have to acknowledge that often we have desires which are not coming from a great place. If we are really honest, sometimes those desires (not all of them, but some of them), are because we are all fallen sinners.  So if we want to save, we may need to have a mechanism that does not rely on our heart's desire to help us get there.

In this case, the mechanism is a self-imposed "Roman tax" with the intention of the savings to build God's Kingdom.

Want to know step-by-step how I did it, earn an extra $5, and save money without trying?

But before I do so, could I ask you something?

What would you do with the savings?

The amount you save through this approach will not pay down your student loan or become a down-payment to a mortgage.  It's just a few pennies here and there in a month.

But...it can help support my monthly teaching that's shared with you and thousands of others.  Right now, I spend $100+ just on my email software, $30 a month for the graphics and images, $16 for this website hosting....etc.  

So I am losing money right now before even getting to my living expenses.

I believe that when teaching impacts us to live a life for God and can point others to the Gospel, we should give generously at part of giving to God and his Kingdom.  

Yes, some of your money may already go to your local church or to missionaries.  But teachers, like myself, are also building the Kingdom by equipping and strengthening you, my beloved friend, and also live through your support.

I don't put my teaching behind a paywall, because I trust that God's people give joyfully and generously to his workers.

So, if I can help you set aside money that you didn't even have before, can you consider gifting that "found" money to support even deeper teaching?

That teaching is what will address your debt, your mortgage, your stress, you job, your worries....

...and I can only really spend the time doing it with your support.

Do you agree this is a good exchange?

If I reveal a way to save you a little bit of money automatically, the best way to multiply that is to support me to share the deeper, more transformative, teaching?

If YES, then read on (and get your $5)!

The app is called Qapital!

If you sign up through my link and make a deposit, you will earn $5.  

(Ignite will also receive $5 from Qapital to support more teaching like this.)

Download it and sign up through this link when on your phone (it doesn't work on a desktop)! 

(This only works for U.S. citizens with a checking account).

Here are the next steps

After you have downloaded, (you did download, right?), here are the key steps:

Step 1: Sign up

You need to create an account.  

If you use Facebook, you can sign up with that account, which saves you a few steps, like typing in another email address and password.


Step 2: Set up your Funding Account and Linked Account

There are two accounts you need to set up.  

The first is the Funding Account.  

This should be your checking account.  Each time you are "taxed" by the round-up to the next $1, it will come out of your checking account and go to Qapital.

You can withdraw anytime from Qapital.

The second is your Linked Account.

In this case, is the credit card (or credit cards) you use.  Qapital will check for every purchase and round up each expenditure.

Step 3: Create your Round Up Rule

Qapital supports multiple saving rules.  

The one I suggest is the round up rule.  You can round up to any dollar amount you select.  The lowest one is $1.  For those who really want to save, you can select a higher number to which every expenditure is rounded up.

Step 4: Define a Reachable Goal

Since we agreed this teaching would be revealed in exchange for supporting future teaching that will really support a deeper transformation in thinking about money, I think creating a goal to that would be the next step.

There is a section where you create a Goal:

  • The name (e.g. "Support Ignite COIN Teaching 30 days")
  • The goal (estimate how much...$20?)
  • The rule you just created

Because the amount you give to support the teaching (I work on a giving basis, not a forced payment -- but will stop if I cannot support myself) will result in teaching far greater, deeper transformations in your relationship with money.

The amount of saving is great.  It's better than nothing.

But it's just the beginning on a journey to financial peace.

It's up to you. 

Set it on an achievable goal.  For example, for most people, $20 savings a month is doable.  Bu if you save less, just change the goal to make it achievable!

If you hit you $20 after the first month and feel it will be consistent, and want to continue to see these kinds of results, support my teaching by giving.  

Step 5: Share with others

Saving money through a repentant and honest look at our own heart's wickedness may feel tough, but it's the way towards greater spiritual transformation.

Jesus saves us when we recognize our own depravity, and realize that only He can save us from the wages of sin through his sovereign grace, alone.

It's a pretty amazing connecting, worth sharing because at the end, it reminds us of a need for Jesus.

Please let me know how it goes as we go on a journey through my COIN series: the upside-down, generous, and practical way to peace with your money through the Gospel.

After you have downloaded the app and set it up, share this article with your friends.  

Click one of those big "sharing" buttons below.